Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stars and States

Personal Note

I am a Republican, you are a Democrat. I favor a Conservative interpretation of the constitution, your interpretation is Liberal. I blame those in power now for the financial and moral condition of our country, you blame the last administration.

What we both lack is trust. We tend to trust our own party. Why? Well, because that is what we have been conditioned to do. Since Conservative values most accurately represent my personal beliefs, then surely anyone that promotes conservative values must be trustworthy, right? When those with a Liberal interpretation of the constitution bring a bill to congress, surely they can be trusted by more Liberal citizens of the US, right? WRONG!!

Two wrongs do not make a right. We are in crisis today. Not because Liberals or Conservatives are in power, but because we have lost control. We don’t trust those who lead us anymore. We don’t trust the media. And many of us are losing faith in America.

Through serious reflection, study and prayer, I humbly present the following solution to the United States of America. Yes, little old me. Just a Dad. Just a concerned citizen. Just one of the “small people” with a deep and abiding love for this country. I thank God to live in a country where even the softest voice can be heard.

Monty Hardy
Father and Patriot

Power in the States

The solution is really quite simple. It is “grass roots” and follows the constitution. It’s not a contest to see how many people we can get together in one gathering. It’s not ignoring the sentiment of the general populous. The solution begins at home, meaning with the individual states. We have allowed our leaders to become professional politicians. We have allowed them to do many things in secret. We have allowed them to build power and take bribes. We have corrupted them. We have allowed them to set their own compensation and be accountable only to themselves. Now, let us repent.

Each state must pass a set of required standards of those who represent them. Once we are sure we can trust those who represent us, we can trust each other, regardless of party affiliation. We must get back to giving power to those who not only will represent us well, but who also have the kind of character and moral fiber that can withstand the temptations that come with being granted power.

Let each state ensure their representatives are trustworthy. Let them require representatives to meet standards of high moral and ethical character. Let them hold their representatives accountable while they are in office. Let this become a state law. There is power in local control. Let there be power in the States.


Just as there are 50 precious stars on the field of blue that make up our flag, let each star symbolize the VOICE of each State. Just as each star has 5 points, let each representative from each state be held to 5 moral and ethical standards, and this by state law.

1. Personal Values
2. Fair Compensation
3. Accountability
4. Public Service
5. Transparency

Personal Values
Require by state law that each representative of the state to US Congress declare his/her top 5 personal values and proffer evidence to the same. Values are foundations that make up human character. These values inevitably influence the actions of our representatives. Let’s allow the people being represented the right to consider the evidence and to know upon what values they are casting their vote.

Fair Compensation
Regardless of what US Congress decides to compensate members of Congress, let’s require by state law that members of congress are compensated 100% by the state which elected them to their seat. Let states determine their salary, benefits and any per diem payments. Allowing a body to approve their own compensation is fiscally irresponsible and contrary to human nature. It breeds greed and resentment. Let each state’s representative be beholden to the state being represented.

Each Member of the US Congress is accountable first to God (or their own personal values), second to those who founded this great nation and third to the people that elected them to office. This is not about who contributes more to whose campaign. This is about stewardship, honor and service. State representatives should live by the values they have declared their own. They should understand more than the common citizen the US Constitution and principles on which the United States was founded. They should care more about what their constituents want than how much is contributed to their re-election fund. Let each state pass a law that allows representatives to be removed and replaced mid-term if the state congress determines they are not living up to their stewardship.

Public Service
Politics have become a career. Those who remain in power for longer periods of time serve on better committees, are able to bring bills to the floor and often participate in decision making that takes place amongst leadership in the “back room”. Let each state make a law that does not allow any of their representatives to serve more than 2 consecutive terms. This will allow states to ensure that their representatives can be trusted. Instead of career politicians, let us seek out the best and brightest in each state, and press them to public service. Self imposed term limits builds trust.

Modern technology affords us the great opportunity of having very open and clear communication lines between representatives and their constituents, if we want it to happen. Too many important issues go unnoticed by those being represented. Too many bills are passed in such haste that not even Members of Congress have time to read them, let alone consider their implications. Let each state require that their representatives read every word of every bill for which they vote. Let states pass laws regarding transparency.

50 Stars. 50 States. 50 Voices. The power to regain trust, renew faith and take back this great nation lies with the States!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

'Morally Bound'

The more I study the writings of the Founding Fathers, the more amazed I become. What motivated these amazing people to do what they did for me and for my children? What drove them to sacrifice so much? And where is that drive now? Is there just something missing now that great patriots of the past had?

I found the answer this week while reading from Jefferson. He used the words "morally bound". Moral has everything to do with correctness, truth, honor or law. Being bound means a sense of duty, covenant or commitment. Jefferson taught that those who enjoy the blessings of "liberty" are morally bound to do certain things. Things that will ensure that blessing is passed on to future generations

This should be our motivation. We all need to get that feeling of being "morally bound" to protect and promulgate the true principles on which our great nation was founded. I want to feel this way more often. I want my kids to feel it. I want the rising generation in my neighborhood to feel this way. I want school teachers and community leaders to model this in their lives.

In my readings, Jefferson used the words in the context of a warning. He warned against the government trying to take care of everyone from the cradle to the grave. Said he, "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."

It is remarkable how these statements relate to our day. Taking care of the people is a "pretense". This is NOT what is meant by the preamble when it refers to the "general welfare" of the people. I am now becoming leery of any government program meant to take care of me.

Jefferson further wrote, "...we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority". Wow that is powerful! Simply stated, if we get ourselves into an economic mess, we need to take care of it in our generation. No matter the complexities of the modern economy, we are "unauthorized" to saddle our posterity.

What is happening in government today is "unauthorized". We should never use the "pretense" of taking care of the people to saddle our children with our own debt. Remember those two incredible words. We are "morally bound" to be responsible for our own actions. How unthinkable to pass this on to our children.

I am wondering what to do with this new information. Just reading does little good if I cannot implement it. I am feeling "morally bound" to do something. Exactly what I am not sure. I frequent large health clubs subsidized heavily by local government funds in an effort to "take care of the people". Should I stop going? My children attend free public school. Should I keep them home?

I will pray for direction and welcome any of your thoughts. Now that we are all "morally bound", what shall we do?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The People's Law

"The People's Law" is a great description of how the Founding Fathers meant to be ruled. These are laws based on timeless principles, put in place and maintained by the "people". That's you and me. This seems to strike at the heart of what freedom really means. It's a system set up that allows us to govern our own lives; to act within our own spheres; to have choice, real choice.

Those who worked for over 180 years to create a nation where "the people" would truly be free sought to create a system with enough government to maintain security, justice and good order, but NOT enough government to abuse "the people" or take away their right to direct their own future.

Thomas Jefferson was influenced heavily by the tenets of the Anglo Saxon law. He wanted a renaissance of these kinds of principles. He gave a hierarchy of solving problems when he said: problem solving "rests first of all with the individual, then the family, then the community, then the region, and finally, the nation."

Not only were "the people" to be given freedom to direct their own lives, they were to be responsible to create and uphold a reasonable government structure that would protect that freedom for generations to come. Jefferson wanted a system with "small manageable groups where every adult has a voice."

Sounds like there are two key components to maintaining this free nation. 1. The responsibility to direct our own livf in accordance with "the people's law", and 2. The responsibility to participate in community affairs to ensure that right is protected. So, how are we doing? How much of this is taught in school? How many of us care as much about our community as we do about just eking out a living for our families?

I don't think we are doing so great. As I pondered on what would happen if we stay on this track, I came across some disturbing words of Benjamin Franklin: "I am apprehensive, therefore, that the Government of these States may in future times end in a monarchy. But this catastrophe, I think may be long delayed, if in our proposed system we do not sow the seeds of contention, faction, and tumult, by making our posts of honor, places of profit."

Scary to think we are even headed towards monarchy. For some time now, congress and the very office of president have become "places of profit". Once in, the salaries are high, there are no term limits (congress) and the long term benefits will take care of you for the rest of your lives. We have seen Republican presidents profit from being in the Presidents office. Democrats have the same problems. Five days before President Obama was sworn in, he signed a $2 million book deal and took a $500,000 advance. Is there a question that we have made our "posts of honor, places of profit"?

Reminding ourselves of these timeless principals helps us know what to look for in choosing those who represent us, as well as motivate us to take personal responsibility for protecting freedom. Somehow that first few powerful words of the Declaration of Independence now means more to me. "We, The People".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Modern Americans

When I first heard the term "Modern American", I wondered if I wanted to be one. As I read the "5000 year leap", by Cleon Skousen, I am learning that America was originally considered "the hope of the world". It took over 180 years from the Pilgrims to the Continental Congress, along with what the Founding Fathers called "the hand of Providence" (help from God), to create this hope. Imagine a nation governed by its people. It truly was the Hope of the World. The Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are inspiring evidences that the United States was "the hope of the world".

Are we still? Does "Modern American" refer to a new breed who have forgotten their roots?

I have made an effort to stay informed. However, part of being a "Modern American" is dealing with a barrage of media information that is usually tilted too far left, or too far right. This forces us to measure issues in terms of political parties instead of time-tested principles of freedom and common sense. The problem with having to use a political party to represent sent you is that their platforms or positions are often superficial and structured on shifting sand. Simply put, they change with the times. Sounds kind of "modern" doesn't it?

So, where can you find the truth? Is there a balanced media source to keep the Modern American informed? I will list a number of sources for your review. All too often, however, we Americans forget that the same Hand of Providence that made this "hope of the world" come to fruition, knows the truth. My personal beliefs in God allow me great faith in the knowledge that God is still in charge. He is the source of all truth. He will reveal it if we ask humbly. So our first source of truth should be prayer. Now here are some others that I received from a very gifted and intelligent political consultant in Pennsylvania:



Conservative leaning:


Liberal leaning:


As I consider the implications of being a "Modern American", I have come to the conclusion that I am one, but don't like it. I sense a change in the air for many of us. The more I read of the principles and eternal truths upon which this nation was founded, the more I find myself wanting not to be so "modern". I want to be more "old school", to believe as the founding fathers did that we are to have "just enough government to maintain security, justice, and good order, but not enough government to abuse the people." I'm going to keep studying.

"the not-so-modern-anymore American"

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am active in local politics and an avid believer in the principles that made the United States of America a free nation, governed by "the people". I am also a father of 8 beautiful children, a want-to-be farmer and the owner of several small businesses. I hold no public office and could probably not afford to even run an effective campaign. I care deeply about this country and can't stand idly by and watch as our freedoms slowly erode.

My voice is small and carries little weight. How can one middle-aged father like myself make a difference when the economy deals with numbers like trillions? I make a good living but come nowhere close to the $600,000 annual salary of those I elect to congress. The more I watch and read about modern politics, the smaller and insignificant I feel. Will my voice even make a minor difference?

What is happening to this country that I love? How can it be possible that the government that represents me continues to take away my freedoms and opportunities on an almost daily basis? Am I powerless to stop them? Where do we go from here?

Asking myself these questions led me to a talk show host. Perhaps you know of Glen Beck. His views have always seemed a little radical to me, but now seem to ring true. He claims that "we surround them". "Them", meaning our elected government officials. He urges the average American to become educated in the principles of the constitution. He encourages everyone, that is all of us small voices, to stand up and remember our civic duty; to let those taking our freedoms away know we are here and won't stand for it any longer!

I don't advocate a revolution. I don't want contention. I only want to be heard. I only want to be free to rise or fall according to the dictates of my own conscience. Agency belongs to America. Christ himself died for agency. Hundreds of thousands of us bled and died in major global conflicts to preserve this precious agency.

I have started this Blog as my own small way of being heard. It's all about voices, right? This will become a pulpit where those I care about can let their voices be heard. My voice is small. But together with the voices of millions of passionate Americans, we will be heard. Or at least that is my humble prayer.

Monty. one small voice